By Vivienne Russell | 16 January 2013
Police officers’ starting salaries are to be cut by £4,000 under pay changes confirmed by the home secretary yesterday.
In a written ministerial statement, Theresa May accepted the Police Arbitration Tribunal’s recommendations on pay and conditions reforms. The move ends months of wrangles following Tom Winsor’s review of police remuneration.
The tribunal became involved after the Police Negotiating Board, which makes decisions on police pay and conditions, were unable to agree on some of the Winsor proposals.
The changes will reduce starting salaries for police constables to £19,000 and remove some bonuses and allowances, specifically the Competency Related Threshold Payment and the Expertise and Professional Accreditation Allowance.
The question of whether to change police rules to allow officers to be made redundant have been referred back to the Police Negotiating Board for further discussion.
May said: ‘Existing police pay and conditions were designed more than 30 years ago, which is why we asked Tom Winsor to carry out his independent review.’ She added that pay and workforce arrangements needed to maximise staff deployment, be in line with modern management practices and ‘provide remuneration and conditions of service that are fair to and reasonable for both the public taxpayer and police officers and staff’.
The Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, said it was disappointed with some of the tribunal’s recommendations, but accepted the home secretary’s decision.
Chair Paul McKeever said: ‘It’s a disappointing starting salary for a constable – it’s lower than it is now. I cannot understand how it will attract a higher level of candidates if that is the ambition.’
But he welcomed the move to defer the decision on redundancy as it would allow ‘common sense’ discussions.
‘Compulsory severance would have a detrimental impact on the service of this country and is something we will fight on,’ he added.